Nurse suspended for publicly sharing transgender student’s private information

A Connecticut school nurse, who was suspended from her job for publicly sharing the private health details of an 11-year-old student, is the new poster girl of the anti-transgender movement.

Kathleen Cataford, a 77-year-old nurse who worked at the Richard K Kinsella Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut, was placed on administrative leave, after parents raised concern that she had made inappropriate online comments directed at LGBTQ+ students.

Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Hartford’s superintendent of schools, said the comments made by Cataford were “inappropriate” and included details about a specific student’s medical history.

“We uphold all of our staff to a high standard, entrusting them to be caretakers and leaders in the community,” Torres-Rodriquez said in a letter to parents.

“It is unacceptable for any member of our community to make any student feel unwelcome, especially someone that has the responsibility to serve as a trusted confidant and obligation to preserve their personal health and well-being.”

In a Facebook group for mothers, Cataford (pictured)  revealed that an eleven-year-old at the school was transgender and currently receiving hormone blocking medication.

The school nurse claimed that there were a dozen children at the school who identified as non-binary, and most of their parents were unaware of their gender status. She described the school’s teachers and social workers of spending 37.5 hours of the week influencing children.

Cataford said she did not believe young transgender people should have access to medical treatment, arguing that children’s brains are not fully developed until they are in their early 20’s.

“Science tells us that a children’s brain continues development into the early 20’s, hence laws prohibiting alcohol, tobacco, vaping and cannibis [sic]. But it’s ok to inject hormones into confused prepubescent children and perform genital mutilating surgery on adolescents!” Cataford wrote.

The school took action over the nurse’s comments when they received a complaint from the 11-year-old child’s parents, who tanked the school for taking swift action.

“As a family we are very happy with how thoroughly and quickly the school and the district has taken action to both ensure the nurse is fully investigated and ensure the safety and privacy of our child. They could not have done a better job,” the family said in a statement.

The school includes students from Kindergarten to Year 12 has a specialist focus on the performing arts. In the days following the incident the superintendent of the school district released a video for Trans Day of Visibility, reassuring students that their schools were committed to making them feel comfortable, supported and welcomed.

Australian organisation Binary said Kathleen Cataford had been suspended for exposing transgender activism in the education system.

Kirralie Smith, spokesperson for the group acknowledged that some parents supported a child’s right to privacy, but said the claims of transgender activism needed to be fully investigated.

“The claims that ‘all but two’ students are transitioning without parental knowledge or consent is alarming. How can other parents defend this?” she said.

“Teaching kindergarten children about sexuality is inappropriate and should be challenged. It is staggering that the school district would rather appease transgender activists than investigate these claims.” Smith said.

OUTinPerth contacted Katherine Cataford for comment. 

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